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Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.
Want more dekeConstructed design techniques? Check out the other courses in the series here.
In this chapter, we'll create all the frames required to animate our golden ball. And then we'll release them to layers, which is what Photoshop needs to turn them into an animated GIF. For starters, we're going to blend all five of our balls in order to create this strange-looking but very useful sequence right here. So, I'll go ahead and switch over to my document so far. And the first thing that we need to do is move the balls to the proper layer.
So, go ahead and click on any one of the gold balls in order to select it with the black arrow tool. And then, go up to the Select Similar Objects icon. Click the down-pointing arrowhead to make sure all or fill color is selected, either will do. And then, click on that icon to select all the balls like so. And then, drag the little green square until it becomes pink, like so, in order to move those circles to the path of ball layer. Now, we need to duplicate the circles at positions two, three, and four, because we need multiple copies of those.
So Shift-click on this final ball right there, on the right-hand side. And then, Shift-click on the first ball in order to deselect both of them. And now, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command. Or you can just press Ctrl+C, or Cmd+C on a Mac. Then, return to the Edit menu and choose Paste in Front, or choose Ctrl+F, or Cmd+F on a Mac. And even though the artwork doesn't look any different, we now have all of the circles we need. All right, now you want to click on the first ball to select it, and Shift-click on the ball at position two in order to select both of them.
And now, go up to the Object menu, choose Blend, and choose Make. Or you can use the keyboard shortcut, which I will be using in the future, of Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Opt+B on a Mac. In order to create a blend that looks something like this, you may not see overlapping circles, but you will see a few circles in between. Now we need to modify that blend by going up to the Object menu, choosing Blend, and then choosing Blend Options. And by default you're probably going to see this set to smooth color.
In which case, if I turn on preview check box you can see that you'll get this effect here. What were really looking for is specified steps, so go ahead and choose that, and then I just experimented with the value that gave me very little room between each one of the balls. And the value I came up with is 24. So, if you're working along with me, specified steps, 24, preview check box on, then click OK in order to blend that first sequence of shapes. All right, now we want this blend out of the way so that we can better see what we're doing.
And you can hide the blend by going up to the Object menu, choosing Hide and then choosing Selection, which has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3 on a Mac. And I'm going to emphasize these keyboard shortcuts because we'll be using them over and over again since we're repeating the same operation multiple times. Anyway, I'll go and choose a command for now and that will hide the selection, it doesn't get rid of it. That takes care of our first blend. In the next movie, I'll show you how to make quick work of the remaining blends.
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